Telecommuting and other trips

Hannah Budnitz, Emmanouil Tranos, Lee Chapman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
44 Downloads (Pure)


This paper investigates the importance of non-work travel to the growing population of telecommuters and the implications of this for sustainable travel patterns. Previous research has identified a link between increased online access to work and reduced proximity between residential and workplace locations. These studies raise concerns that as more people split their work activities between home and external workplace, whilst living in more dispersed locations, more unsustainable transport impacts will be generated, including higher vehicle mileage, car dependency, and less physical activity. This paper counters that the implications of telecommuting and other flexible working practices for sustainable travel behaviours may be more dependent upon the number and type of non-work journeys and the accessibility of amenities for these purposes rather than on the distance to the workplace for less frequent commuting journeys. Using the National Travel Survey for England, the travel behaviours of those who identify themselves not as home workers but as working from home at least once a week are compared to other working adults by measuring and modelling the number and purpose of trips within a week’s travel diary, independent of distance or mode. Telecommuters record fewer commute trips, more trips for other purposes, and the marginal utility of additional non-work trips to telecommuters is greater than for many other socio-economic characteristics. Thus, addressing the accessibility of non-work destinations proactively through local planning has the potential to optimise the sustainability benefits of telecommuting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102713
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Transport Geography
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2020


  • telecommuters
  • journey purpose
  • national travel survey
  • accessibility
  • travel diary


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